The Orange County Valley – How We Came To Be

In early 1972, Dave Bates, 33°; Carlyle Dennis, 32°; Carl Almquit, 32° and Don Tapia, 33°; then members of the San Bernardino Valley got to-gether with other interested brothers and petitioned the Valley of San Bernardino for sponsorship of an Orange County Scottish Rite Club located specifically in Santa Ana.

This sponsorship was duly given and approved by the Supreme Council resulting in the formation of the Orange County Scottish Rite Club on May 5 of 1976 with 512 charter members.

The club was formed as a pre-requisite to starting a Scottish Rite Valley and operated for two years under the direction of President Don Tapia, 33° and Secretary Dave Bates, 33°. After two years, the appropriate re-quests were made and Letters Temporary were issued as follows:

Lodge of Perfection – October 1977
Chapter Rose Croix – October 1977
Council of Kadosh – April 1978
Consistory – April 1978
Charter for all Bodies – October 1979

On November 3, 2014, the Valley voted to amend its bylaws and officially changed the name of the Valley from Santa Ana to the Orange County Valley.

The new Valley grew rapidly to over 2,000 members. With the passage of time, many Charter Members have demitted to the Grand Lodge above with the result that membership has declined from that level.

The Valley’s leadership has been provided over the years by the following men:

  • Ill. Richard Riemer, 33º – Chairman of The Advisory Council –  September 1976 to January 1988
  • Ill. Tom Boles, 33º G.C. – Personal Representative – January 1988 to March 1993
  • Ill. Wayne Butterbaugh, 33º – Personal Representative – March 1993 to December 1998
  • Ill. Peter H. Jantz, 33º – Personal Representative – January 1999 to June 2004
  • Ill. Raymond Godeke, 33º – Personal Representative – July 2004 to December 31, 2012
  • Ill. Richard Wood, 33º – Personal Representative – January 1, 2013 to September 6, 2018
  • Ill. Francisco Rosario, 33º – Personal Representative – September 7, 2018 to September 2023
  • Ill Ralph C. Shelton II, 33° – Personal Representative – September 2023 to Present

Dave Bates, 33° was General Secretary from the beginning until 12/84; John W. Blum, 32° KCCH, served through 12/85; Mark Shrock, 33°, occupied the position until 12/88. He was followed by Phylip Hylton, 33°, deceased, until 9/95. Dean Bradley, 33°, was General Secretary from 10/95 to 9/03. Sam Elias, 32°, KCCH, served as General Secretary until (9/05). William Sizemore, 32° KCCH, served as General Secretary until xx/xx. Robert McNamara, 33° served as General Secretary until 9/2018. Jamie Hopkins, 32° currently serves as General Secretary.

The Orange County Valley is currently active in the Community as well as within the Masonic Fraternity.

The Valley owns its own equipment for the Child ID Program and also uses equipment supplied by the Grand Lodge of California. In the latter part of 2003 the Valley was asked to provide Child ID ser-vices to over 13 schools in the Santa Ana system. The total number of children going through the Program in 2003 toped 7,000. The Valley is pleased to be able to offer this Community Service.

The Ritecare Childhood Language Center of Orange County was established in July of 2001. This was the culmination of the dream of many members of the Valley and the Center has continued to grow. It provides complete speech and language diagnostic evaluations for children from age 3 to 18 and provides remedial treatment to those selected. The result is helping children learn “To Hear, To Speak, To Understand.”

The Center is staffed by a qualified, licensed, Speech/Language Pathologist (SLP) who also possesses a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

Funding for the Center’s by members of the Orange County Valley and by donations from the Community. A Charity Golf Tournament is held each year as the primary fund raising vehicle. Interested players are asked to call the office at 714-543-7277. More funding will result in more services being provided to the community.

The Orange County Valley is vibrant with activity, and is looking forward to increasing its service to the Community, within Masonry and to its members.